Primrose Dairy is clearly seen in this 1928 photograph of Bodmin. Attached to it is No 7 Mill Street, the home of the Sargent family. Pool Street was the main thoroughfare from Bodmin North railway station to Church Square. The main A30 ran through Fore Street, seen in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo. Pool Street Methodist Church is seen top right, while the church in the bottom centre is the Congregational Church.
Looking from Cock’s Well in the centre foreground by the wall across what is now Dennison Road to the site of Primrose Dairy. The present building used by Dominos Pizza was built in the 1960s as a newspaper distribution hub for WH Smiths. Dennison Road was knocked through from Mill Street to Pool Street in 1959 when several buildings were demolished and the road widened.
The terrace of cottages in Mill Street with Helson’s shop seen on the far right. Mrs Clara Gooday, aged 80, lived at No 15, the middle cottage. She was saved by neighbour Mrs Parkyn when the bomb exploded. Note the pint of milk on the doorstep, which is beginning to make a comeback as we seek to reduce plastic waste.
Jimmy Tippett, aged 16 years and 7 months, was stood in the doorway of Primrose Dairy when the bomb exploded, the only employee on the premises at the time. He was literally blown to pieces. He was an only son and was buried in the churchyard of St Wenn Church.
Bodmin North Station
The original 1834 railway line to Wadebridge can be clearly seen in this 1932 photograph. The terminus has grown into Southern Railway’s Bodmin North Station. Following Berrycombe Road westwards you can clearly see the two gasholders at the gasworks with the Test House adjoining the road. A little further along is Orange Terrace, now the site of the Gospel Hall. The old prison can be seen top right. The bridge at the bottom of Cardell Road remained until the 1990s.
Helson's Shop & House
Helson’s shop and house on the corner of Market Street and what was Mill Street seen in 2011. The window facing the main road was where Raymond Helson was sat when the bomb exploded across the road at Primrose Dairy. Shards of glass were embedded in his back and he was removed to hospital lying face down.
Sargent Family Grave
The large family grave in Bodmin Cemetery for the eight members of the Sargent family who were killed when the bomb exploded in the Primrose Dairy just twenty feet away from where they were sitting in their living room. The oldest was 76, the youngest aged one. Reg Sargent, the son was home on leave from the Royal Signals, hence the Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone for him. Two members of the family were brought out alive from under the rubble of their home.
This 1990 photograph shows the tree planted in memory of Jimmy Tippett on the site of Primrose Dairy. When I was a youngster, there was a small brass plaque explaining the significance of the tree. By the 21st century, this had vanished. My letters to various councillors helped get a more permanent plaque placed under the tree.